El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Posts Tagged ‘politics

NPT Capitol: House GOP bloc worried about Voter ID bill? UPDATED

The Republican Party of Texas released a statement applauding a statement made by 52 Republican representatives committing to core principles they want included in voter ID legislation.

Those principles are: 1. Ensure a valid photo identification is needed to vote, 2. Take effect at the next possible uniform election date, 3 Be free of any registration requirements such as same day voter registration that dilutes the intent of the bill, which is ensuring fair and accurate elections, and 4. Increase criminal penalties for voter fraud and registration.

NPT had orginally interpreted the statement as a position of weakness – that only 52 Republicans were on board with the language and the Republican leadership was conspicious in its absence from the list of signatories. However the Texas GOP released a new list on Wednesday which took the number of signatories up to 71 – including Chairmans Branch, Kuempel and McCall (Calendars) and just 5 shy of the majority needed to get it passed.

Far from being a position of weakness, the revised list looks rather formidable. Voted ID now looks set to be the showndown issue of the session. But they will need to get 76 votes – meaning if Dems are universally opposed to he measure, they would only need to flip two Republicans (from either the 71 or the 4-plus-Speaker-Straus not signed up to the GOP list) OR flip one and put Speaker Straus in a position of breaking a tie vote.

Read NPT’s old analysis and the first GOP press release after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 28, 2009 at 10:43 pm

NPT Capitol: Marquez on Craddick D speculation, Chavez

marquezYesterday afternoon, NPT caught up with state Rep. Marisa Marquez, who wanted to respond to comments made by state Rep Norma Chavez, about the two El Paso politicians’ relationship.

Chavez said she had given”110 per cent” to Marquez’s election in the 2008 primary but that the District 77 Rep. “wanted complete distance from me after she was elected.” Marquez disputed this.

“It is completely untrue that I asked her to leave me alone. That is not the case. I need any member of the delegation’s support on any of the issues I choose to take on for District 77, especially given the experience of Pickett and Chavez,” said Marquez.

“There were a lot of people who gave 110 to 200 per cent, a lot of people that were invested in my election. It as not just Norma Chavez. I am grateful, I have given her thanks on many public occasions, on the radio, in the newspaper and I find it very disheartening that it is still not good enough,” said Marquez.

NPT asked Marquez about speculation last year that she was a Craddick D (Democrats supportive of former House speaker Tom Craddick) and Chavez’s creature. [link]

“Those are two thing don’t allow for any sense of independence. Being lumped in with the “Craddick Ds” certainly was not fair because I had no history of voting with Craddick. I had no history in the political arena,” Marquez said. “Because I received money form the business community doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has to fall in place and that I have to be a Craddick D just because they supported Craddick.”

chavez“As for being Chavez’s creature, I think that will come from just people supporting you. Am I my fathers creature? He supported me… It’s the people who put me here, the individuals who went to the polls on March 4th (2008), those are the people I’m responsible to,” Marquez said.

Marquez said it was clear during her campaign that she was not beholden to anybody.

“Just pigeon holing people is not appropriate, it’s not right,” Marquez said. “To rubber stamp me with particular money and say ‘that’s going to happen’, I don’t think is fair.”

–Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

NPT Capitol: Marquez, others make sausage to stick it to lenders

The don’t call the legislative process making sausage for nothing. State Rep. Marisa Marquez, has gotten together with a bunch of other legislators over the issue of payday lending, an issue NPT has covered here, here and here. Each state rep have filed bills on the issue, but now will hold a press conference on Wednesday to united behind a single omnibus bill.

Expect more sausage making on Wednesday in the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. Chairman Ed Kuempel will be attempting to hammer out an omnibus constitutional amendment enabling statewide gambling. State Rep. Norma Chavez will be there to ensure that language covering the Tiguas are included.

Read Marquez’s press release after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 7, 2009 at 10:29 am

NPT Capitol: Ban trans-fat, stop the “silent epidemic” of obesity

“Across Texas, a silent epidemic of obesity is shortening lives, raising health costs and putting more and more Texans at risk,” said Sen. Eliot Shapleigh at a press conference yesterday joined by state Rep Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, regarding bills they have both filed seeking to ban trans-fat from Texas restaurants.

The bills, SB 204 and HB 1523, would amend the Health and Safety Code, prohibiting Texas restaurants from using trans-fats, which have been linked to health problems. According to Shapleigh’s office, a 2006 Paso Del Norte Health Foundation report found that more than 37 percent of El Pasoans were overweight and another 27.2 percent were obese. Shapleigh has also filed SB 352, banning trans-fat from school meals.

“Texans cannot afford to suffer from the lingering health effects of heart disease, diabetes, and the other ailments caused by bad cholesterol intake. Many restaurants in the country, including a number of prominent chains already take responsibility for the foods they serve by eliminating trans fat from their menu. I applaud these good corporate citizens and look forward to the day when all of Texas is trans-fat free,” Rep. Alvarado said.

SB 204 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. SB 352 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education. HB 1523 has been referred to the House Committee on Public Health.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 7, 2009 at 9:56 am

NPT Capitol Round Up

nptlogo2Check out NPT’s new weekly feature, Capitol Round-up. This week, The feds fund, Dutton disses, Pollsters provoke and Berman’s bi-lingual, while everyone has something to say when it comes to Mexico. Here’s a sneak peak:

— Scene of the week: the live sonogram at the capitol: During a press conference in support of SB 182, which would require any woman seeking an abortion, to first have the opportunity to hear the heartbeat and see an ultrasound image of the fetus, organizers included a pregnant women undergoing a live sonogram, which was projected on a pull down screen adjacent to the speakers. [link]

— Busy week for:
Gov. Perry. He was in Washington on Monday meeting with the President. He flew back to Austin in order to speak at a pro-life rally at the capitol on Tuesday, got on a plane and was speaking in El Paso by mid-afternoon, and was back in Austin to speak at two different events on Wednesday.

— Weird moment:
Leo Berman. The Tyler state rep, when asked if there should be an amnesty for illegal immigrants in Texas, repeatedly punctured his response with the word “why” and even switched it up asking “por que.” Listen below.

— Question of the week: Will Dunnam’s Select Committee tour come to El Paso?

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 28, 2009 at 9:55 am